President Joe Biden snapped at the press Thursday night for hounding him with questions about the classified documents scandal that is engulfing his administration in lieu of climate change — and then opened his folder to read a prepared statement.
When a reporter asked if he “regrets” the sensitive files debacle, Biden said media questioning “annoys” him when we “we have a serious issue here that we’re talking about.”
“The American people don’t quite understand why you’re not asking me questions about this,” he added, just hours after a poll found that a majority of the country felt its handling of Obama administration materials was inappropriate.
Despite his lively reaction, he said he would answer, opened the folder on his desk to the first page, and began to read.
“You see, when we found a handful of documents that had been misplaced, we immediately turned them over to the archives and the Justice Department. We fully cooperate and look forward to resolving this quickly. I think you’ll find there’s nothing there.”
“I have no regrets that I followed what the lawyers told me what they want from me, it’s exactly what we’re doing. There is no there.’
President Biden tore the press when asked if he regrets not disclosing secret documents from his vice presidential days that were discovered in his former DC office ahead of the November election
After two months of sitting in a DC think tank uncovering classified documents, Biden and his administration are now on the attack, trying to deflect questions by insisting they did everything by the book.
A Biden attorney notified the National Archives of the files found at the Penn Biden Center just days before the midterms in November.
But it was only last week that CBS News first reported it.
The White House has since been condemned for a lack of transparency, and Biden’s handling of files is now under investigation by a special counsel.
The president’s suggestion that Americans should focus on other issues was also challenged by a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, which said 60 percent of Americans think he acted inappropriately.
A majority of the 1,380 American voters polled in the poll acknowledged the scandal is “serious” and should be investigated, but less than half believe it should lead to criminal charges.
Only 36 percent approve of the work Biden is doing and 53 percent oppose it.
When a reporter asked if he regretted the sensitive files debacle, Biden said that being questioned by the media “bugs” him when we “we have a serious issue here that we’re talking about.”
The attack on the press came after Biden toured the collapsed Capitola Pier near Seacliff State Park in Santa Cruz and met with business owners whose businesses have been destroyed by a series of violent storms.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who greeted Biden with a smile upon his arrival, described the 21 known deaths the state had experienced.
“We had nine atmospheric flows, a build-up of stress — this conveyor belt going back 22 days, trillions of gallons of water. We estimate that the state of California has conducted over 1400 heroic rescues, those lives that have been saved have not made headlines,” Newsom said.
He also spoke about the search for a missing five-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwaters in San Luis Obispo County, prompting a National Guard search.
“We won’t give up until we find Kyle,” he said.
Biden also referenced the missing boy.
“The fact is Jill and we are praying for him,” Biden said.
The two leaders shared the camaraderie. Newsom declined a presidential bid in 2024, and Biden is expected to announce his own candidacy soon.
At least a few documents were found in Biden’s garage at his home in Wilmington, Delaware
President Joe Biden toured storm damage in California along with Gov. Gavin Newsom (L) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and then stormed the press for asking for his documents
“We won’t give up until we find Kyle,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom, speaking of a missing 5-year-old boy who was swept away by the floods
The pair were touring at a pier in Capitola due to storms
Newsom chose not to run for president in 2024
The White House has declined to release visitor logs from Biden’s lakefront home in Wilmington, Delaware (pictured), where he spends most weekends — and has conducted most of the 2020 campaign due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
“One of the things I’ve long admired about this President, and I think the American people admire, is that there are few people with the empathy, caring and compassion that he has. And you see that in times like these,” Newsom said.
“You and I need to stop doing these helicopter rides,” Biden joked at one point, after also flashing a warm smile to Newsom upon his arrival.
“If anyone doubts the climate is changing, they must have been asleep for the last few years,” Biden said, citing California’s years of drought, fire and severe storms.
Earlier, Biden had seen a stack of damaged boards from Capitola Pier.
He met with rescue workers and members of the military and exchanged with some challenge coins. He visited Zelda’s on the Beach, a restaurant with piles of sandbags at the beach exit and building materials in an otherwise bare interior.
He also took a sightseeing flight over the widespread damage.
The state was hit with nearly 12 inches of rain and snow between December 26 and January 17, with snow piles in the Sierras.
A series of “atmospheric flows” – long ribbons of water vapor – arrived one after the other. Light rain and dry conditions are expected in the coming days.